What are the TOP-5 best yogurt makers? This guide will tell you about the difference between manually operated, half-automatic and fully-automated appliances. Find beneficial tips and recommendations on how to prepare perfect yogurt as well as the answers to frequently asked questions. A comparative chart illustrates the product’s effectiveness so that you can more easily decide which one is really worth buying.
What I like about these appliances is that it is not just a way to save your money, but also a good option for eating quality and healthy food. No matter how tasty the factory made yogurts are, there are always nutritional supplements in products. Moreover, this is a great way to preserve food, in particular, fruits and berries.
Yogurts that are rich in protein and calcium can be successfully made at home. The main part of the process is bacterial fermentation of milk. The process of yogurt preparation is quite simple: first, milk is heated, then, a source of bacteria is added and finally, the milk needs to incubate over the course of up to eight hours. Of course, you can do this by using regular cooking utensils, such as a double boiler and container. But frankly, this is not the best option for starters and for those pressed for time. While an automated appliance will do the job faster and in a seamless manner.
What You Will Learn From This Guide:
- How yogurt maker works
- What types of yogurt makers are there?
- What you should look for when buying the appliance
- Tips on how to make yogurt at home
- TOP 5 best yogurt makers
First, you need to know that not all models heat the milk, which means that in this case, you will need one more kitchen appliance, such as a stove. But if your appliance includes this feature, follow the instruction.
So place milk in the appliance to heat the stuff up to the required temperature. As soon as the needed temperature is reached, the device will alert you. And this is the point where a yogurt starter needs to be added. Normally, 2 tablespoons for every 4 cups would be enough. The following step also depends on the model: some appliances stir the mixture automatically while others are not designed for that and you will have to do it yourself. Once you have the mixture in the containers, start the timer.
How to set the timer? As a rule, 12 hours is enough to make your yogurt ready but in some cases, the preparation will take a couple of hours more. Otherwise, it can be undercooked, which means a bitter taste. Add fruits, berries or any other supplement when the starter is made so that the stuff could be spread evenly throughout the mixture. When the time is over, do not wait too long to take out the yogurt, otherwise, it will be bitter. Then, place it in a container you should prepare beforehand.
As you can see, much depends on the device and its features. So let’s have a brief look at the main types of these appliances.
Manually operated units have an advantage of being easy to use and store. They are smaller and size and will not occupy much space in the kitchen. They can be as effective as other types but there are certain downsides. First, there is no timer, which might involve additional difficulties for inexperienced cooks. So it will be your job to keep an eye on temperatures and the preparation time.
Half-automatic units are more affordable in comparison with automatic ones. They are convenient to use but you will have to heat milk and prepare the yogurt starter yourself. However, unlike the manually operated type, there is a timer. So you will not have to worry about missing when the yogurt is ready. Some half-automatic yogurt makers allow for automatic temperature regulation, though this feature is not necessarily present in all models of this type.
Fully-automated units are more expensive and feature-packed devices. Apart from a digital timer and a self-cooling system that works automatically, such models maintain the required temperature. It will be a sort of an automated cook in your kitchen. What you will have to do yourself is to place milk and yogurt starter into the container. And yet, this type has downsides as well. First, there may be no possibility to change the temperature and secondly, it may require more place for storage.
That said, keep in mind that independent of the model you use, it may take for it a number of sessions to make yogurt that has the flavor you would like toreach.
Now, let us have a look at the features you should consider before making a purchase.
Capacity. This is largely about the amount of yogurt you need to prepare at a time. Since homemade yogurts cannot be stored for a long period of time, you should calculate the capacity based on the number of people who will eat it. To make enough yogurt for an entire family, you need high-capacity units capable to produce up to 2 quarts of the stuff. Primarily, this is about the size of the container which should be designed for several servings.
Timing. Depending on the model, the time of yogurt preparation ranges from 5 to 12 hours. But keep in mind that making yogurt is a time-consuming process and you should not save time if you want to get something really good.
Automatic turn-off. This feature is present in high-end automatic models. When the device stops operation automatically, it cannot be overheated. This will extend its service life period and makes the unit safer. Not to mention that this adds to the convenience in exploiting the appliance.
Removable parts are something that you need to make cleaning an easier process.
Yogurts with various flavors can be prepared by a single unit if there are individual jars. Make sure that the model provides for this option in case you want to make yogurts with different fillers at a time.
The durability of the appliance depends on materials it was made of. It is no big secret that metal units last for a longer period of time than plastic ones.
Warranty. Any device can go faulty, which is why we need warranties. As a rule, yogurt makers come with a 1-year warranty but sometimes longer-term ones are offered by the producers, which is apparently a benefit.
- While it may seem weird, adding powdered milk to organic whole one makes your homemade yogurt better. This is because the former saturates the content with more protein and helps to achieve a thicker consistency.
- Yogurt makers with smaller containers allow you to store them unopened for a longer period of time in your refrigerator.
- Add a whole pepper to the mixture of milk and the starter. This will hasten the process and make the product firmer. However, do not forget to take the plant away when everything is ready, otherwise, the content will have a specific flavour.
- If you are going to make yogurt quite often, you may use a previous batch as the starter. It can be reused as many as 8 times, however, there is a probability that at some point it will not work anymore and this is where a fresh starter will be needed.
- Flavorings can be added at the moment of preparation but it is recommended to make plain yogurt, flavoring it only afterward. Use honey, berries, fruits, and even herbs to flavor the content.
- To make your yogurt thicker, strain it when the incubation is over. It should be drained over the course of more than an hour. Have patience and do it thoroughly as the longer it is drained, the thicker its consistency is.
Benefits Of Homemade Yogurts
Making yogurts at home is actually simple. You just heat milk, stir in the starter and leave it to incubate. However, it is not convenience that is the main benefit of homemade yogurts. More importantly, this allows you to eat the healthiest food imaginable.
According to Jian Yang, Ph.D., a specialist at The University of Guam, there are four main benefits of making yogurts at home:
- Fresh yogurt that was made at home contains much more probiotics;
- You may exclude from the content harmful ingredients, for example, sugar, stabilizers or fat;
- Homemade yogurts have a fresh taste while their sourness can be controlled.
- This allows you to save money as the only ingredients you need are milk, starter and fillings. Roughly, this will be two times cheaper than buying the product from a store. A yogurt making machine pays off in the long run as well.
- You have a great opportunity to develop your culinary skills.
Yogurts are rich in protein, calcium, phosphorus, and B vitamins, such as riboflavin and B12. Citing scientific studies, specialists from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health specify what kind of health benefits daily consumption of yogurts delivers. First, its bacteria help you not to gain weight. Secondly, this is good protection from heart disease and diabetes of type 2.
Scientists from Colorado State University also indicate that this product strengthens the immune system, in particular, reducing the symptoms of cold and flu in children. It has a positive impact on people suffering diarrhea. It can block the development of bacteria causing ulcers and even stomach cancer.
Yogurt is considered to be dietetic food as its bacteria can break down the sugar while its acidity helps the human organism to better absorb calcium, zinc and other nutritive substances. On top of that, this is the food that can be eaten more easily and is suggested for those with lactose intolerance. This is because its bacteria digests lactose.
Below, you will find TOP-5 best yogurt makers within the price range from $20 to $70. They differ in the number of features and the amount of yogurt you can prepare at a time. While in some models there is one large container, other items come with several jars intended for individual servings. Keep in mind that the more automated the device is, the higher is its price.
High-End Electronic Yogurt Maker With Automatic Cooling | Cuisinart CYM-100
This is the most expensive and feature-packed item in the review, which will cost you about $70. If you do not have enough time or unwilling to go through all the stages of making yogurt, this model is definitely for you. The product’s key strong point is an automatic cooling system that is capable to set the optimum chilling temperature.
What I like in this appliance is a huge container that can fit up to 50 oz of the stuff or 6 servings at a time. So I would suggest it for large families or those who are really crazy about yogurts! You can set the required time for fermenting, which will appear on a digital display. It is convenient as you can follow the recipe exactly. On top of that, you will not need to press a button to stop the machine as it shuts off automatically at the chosen time. As I have indicated above, an automatic shut-off is a clear advantage which a high-end model should have.
However, I would highlight two drawbacks. First, the container is made from plastic while glass is considered preferable for safety reasons. Secondly, there is no temperature control.
Cuisinart: Check the current price
Greek Yogurt Maker with LCD Display | DASH
This model designed for making Greek yogurt will cost you half the price of the previous product. What stands out first when looking at the item is its nice blue color that will enhance any kitchen. Apart from that, the unit is lightweight, compact and easy to store as all its parts can be placed inside the base.
You will have to add milk, starter and some ingredients while the rest will be done by the machine. First, it heats the content up to 185°F and then cools it down to 110°F. All in all, it will take from 8 to 12 hours to get two quarts of the stuff.
What are the drawbacks? Like in Cuisinart model, this one comes with plastic containers as well. But it is quite capacious as it can hold 5 cups of milk and 4 ounces of starter. The item also lacks the possibility to customize various temperature settings, however, the time can be set. Note that the maximum time that can be set is 24 hours. When the time runs out, the unit shuts off automatically.
DASH: Check the current price
2-in-1 Yogurt Maker and Personal Slow Cooker in Clay | VitaClay
Approximately for the same price you get a unit with much more benefits. First and foremost, the product includes a clay container with a glass lid, which is the best option for keeping your healthy ingredients in. However, there is another side of the picture: clay objects break and crack more easily. In this case, a new one can be purchased from the manufacturer, so it is up to you to decide whether this product’s property is an advantage or disadvantage. The container capacity amounts up to 8 cups or 2 quarts, which more than enough even for a big-size family.
Another property which is no doubt a benefit is that this 600-Watt unit has 3 temperature settings. And yet, the device cannot maintain a specific temperature and all of the three settings are below boiling. There is a battery backup for the clock so that it continues to work even after being unplugged.
VitaClay: Check the current price
Affordable 2-Quart Manual Yogurt Maker | Oster
If you have never tried a yogurt maker before and are unwilling to spend much money, this one would be the best bet for you. What I like is that the product comes with a set of six jars, 7 ounces each. This allows for making individual servings and opening each of them when needed.
In addition, they are made of glass, not plastic, so I would recommend this unit for making yogurts for kids as it is convenient and they can take their servings with them to school. On top of that, glass is great to store healthy products in. Apart from that, there is one 17-ounce container if you want to make one large batch.
How to use the unit? First, you should mix the milk and starter and pour the mixture into the container. Then push the button and wait for 12 hours. A timer with an LCD display will alert you when the stuff is ready. After that, strain it to remove extra liquid.
Oster: Check the current price
Automatic Yogurt Maker with 7 Six-Ounce Glass Jars | Euro Cuisine
In my view, this item is the most cost-efficient one in the review. For some $30, you get a device with numerous useful properties. It controls how sweet, fat and thick the yogurt will be. Unlike the previous models, this one can be set for a longer period of time — up to 15 hours. And when the time is over, the unit shuts off automatically.
The appliance comes with 7 jars made of glass and designed for six ounces each. So feel free to make seven yogurts with different flavors and they will not mix. What should be singled out for mention is a 3-year warranty offered by the manufacturer. What does it say? It indicates that the producer is confident in the quality of this model. The downside is the material the appliance is made from — plastic, which gets warm when heated.
Watch a video on how to use Euro Cuisine yogurt maker -
Euro Cuisine: Check the current price
Comparative Chart Of Yogurt Maker Effectiveness
|Automatic cooling system, 50 oz-container for 6 servings. |
Timer with a digital display.
Shuts off automatically.
|Nice design, lightweight. |
Timer can be set up to 24 hours.
Shuts off automatically.
|Container made of natural clay. |
Capacity amounts to 8 cups or 2 quarts.
Three temperature settings.
|Six glass jars for 7 ounces each and one 17-ounce container. |
A timer with an LCD display.
|Can be set for up to 15 hours. |
Shuts off automatically.
Seven glass jars for 6 ounces each.
A 3-year warranty.
Which yogurt maker is the best?
Appliances produced by Cuisinart are sold all over the world and are considered to be of a prestigious brand. However, I would mention Euro Cuisine as well as it offers a number of good quality yogurt making devices with advanced features.
Can I use the appliance for making kefir?
No, they are made in a different way. While it takes yogurt no more than 10 hours to ferment, it is not the case with kefir, which requires 24 hours to be ready. In fact, these are two different products.
Is a yogurt maker worth it?
If you eat a lot of yogurts, purchasing this device will eventually save your money. It will also make the process of yogurt preparation more convenient, limiting it just to several simple steps.
What temperature does it reach?
It depends on the model but basically, the temperature ranges between 110° and 115°F.
What is a yogurt starter?
A yogurt starter is a blend of bacteria consuming lactose that is a necessary ingredient for making yogurt. There is a variety of them, with different tastes and consistencies.